Touring Titus Canyon Road during the spring season is a popular pastime because there are pockets of magnificent desert wildflower blooms that can be viewed while passing through the higher elevations. This road begins by going through a mile high mountain pass and the rest of the journey is a 20+ mile downhill run to sea level in Death Valley. Two previous articles feature points of interest to be discovered along the way and the final leg runs through the Titus Canyon Narrows, which is truly an intriguing sight to behold.
Titus Canyon Road is a high ground clearance 4x4 trail and this touring route is also a popular mountain biking run. Most of this dirt road runs through mountain dry washes, so if rain is in the forecast it may be best to delay the trip. Piles of massive rounded boulders are strewn throughout the dry wash, which indicate just how powerful the flash floods can be in this area, so it pays to not take chances. A spare tire and a flat tire kit will be needed for this trip, because there are plenty of jagged rock shards on the road surface. Getting completely stranded is not much of a problem, since a few vehicles do this trip everyday, with the exception being summer when the temperatures reach the boiling point. Touring Titus Canyon road during the peak heat of the Death Valley summer really is not advisable, because vehicle reliability plummets when the temperatures are above 110ºF.
The Titus Canyon Narrows are also a hiking destination and there is a parking area in Death Valley at the mouth of the slot canyon. Titus Canyon Road actually is a one way street because the pathway is so narrow, so doing the footwork is the only option for going uphill into the narrows. Either way a visitor chooses to get to this unique geological area will be rewarding, because there will be more than a mile of captivating slot canyon narrows to explore. Speaking of geology, this canyon is a dream come true for earth science enthusiasts, because the powerful flash floods of the past have cut through the bedrock strata to reveal some one of a kind metamorphic rock formations and complex sedimentary deposits that can be seen nowhere else.
As far as photographing the Titus Canyon Narrows is concerned, those who use a point and shoot camera or a smart phone will have fewer headaches. Anybody that prefers a DSLR or mirrorless camera will quickly find that the lighting conditions will cause the dynamic range capabilities of the camera to go off the scale. A photographer will have to contend with jet black shadows and blazing overexposed highlights every time a picture is taken, so be ready to spin the dials. An ultra wide angle lens will also be needed, since the framing must be done vertical portrait style because the narrow slot canyon gaps tower way overhead. The Titus Canyon Narrows certainly are a challenge for a picture taker to overcome, yet the photos will certainly provide fond memories that will last a lifetime!
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